tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC August 6, 2009 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT
battle for america" join us later. also sonia sotomayor was confirmed late today by a vote of 68-31. nine republicans voted for her, and every democrat present. could that cause trouble for the republicans with latino votes next november? and what american political celebrity was offered 40 cows and 20 goats for some guy to marry their daughter? and who said it was up to the daughter to decide? that's in tonight's "hardball sideshow." we begin with the president's slipping approval ratings. now down to 50% in a new poll. patrick buchanan is an msnbc political analyst and bob shrum is a democratic analyst. let's take a look. here the quinn fee yak poll numbers to look at. approve the president's performance, 50%. disapprove, 42%. that compares to only a month ago and just a month ago to 57% positive, 33% negative. now let's look at the course.
the poll asks people who is the president handling the health care issue. there you have it, 39%. very, very low for an issue he really campaigned on. 52% of the people, a real majority now, opposing him. shrummy, are these two sets of numbers connected? >> i think the quinnipiac poll is wrong. the ipsus poll has the president -- these polls don't matter. what matters, whether he's up or down. what matters is where they are in 2010 and where they are in 2012. the only other thing that counts in this is whether democrats get panicked and walk away from this health care fight because the lesson in 1994 is that if they do that, they'll pay the price. the president will ultimately get re-elected because the economy is going to revive, but those democrats, and especially i think by the way the blue dogs, would pay the price in the
marginal districts. >> pat, analytically is he right? if the democrats lose the argument and lose the bill, they're in worse shape than if je just lose the argue am and pass the bill? aren't they. aren't they better off getting a "w" next to the vote? >> i agree with bob on this. the key guys are the blue dogs and many of them walked the plank on cap and trade and they will pay a tries for it. you may not get cap and trade. now they're being asked to walk the plank again on the dramatic health care reform. i think they're the key guys, and if they bolt, chris, the only thing i think obama can get -- but i still think he can get something -- is sort of a scaled-down program, and my view is he ought to talk with his guys in august and say, look, you guys, can we get the big program through? what is it going to cost? do we have to do reconciliatior? is that a wise thing? or is do we have to settle. i think whatever you say there is real erosion in his support. >> should he get a supermajority by getting several republicans aboard, two or three aboard, get a bill passed, get it out, sign
it, move on next year to getting more -- more next year or should he fight now with everything he's got, jam it through the senate with 50 votes plus the vice president, take the heat from the other side, and live with it? >> i certainly think he should do that. reconciliation was over used by bush. >> if he has to choose a bill, what would you do? >> i judge it by what's in that bill. if there's a co-op that effectively does provide competition with the insurance industry, then i think you can move forward. by the way, in other respects that bill is not a vastly scaled down bill. it's $100 billion less over ten years out of a program that costs $1 trillion over ten years. so it's a pretty major bill, and i agree with pat, he's going to get a bill. >> i'm with bob on this. i think bob is saying they should try to get a major bill through as big as they can but don't take a defeat.
don't go for something they can't get and don't try to use reconciliation if it means the senate stops performing this year. >> look what reagan did. he demanded 30% down the line, down the line. finally they said 25%, he said, okay, i'll take it, let's go. >> he took -- >> it was a mild compromise. he got most of what he wanted and remember that horrible picture of danny, very grim. >> i was on the other side of the aisle during that fight. >> you were on the losing side on that one. >> losing side is okay because sometimes the other side is supposed to win. sometimes it's their turn to win because they got elected. that's how it works, pat. it isn't always trench warfare. when the other side wins, maybe it's because they get the govern. >> i'm glad they got 60 votes. i'm glad they got a big majority in the house. i'm glad they have everything because they should have power and then you can hold them accountable and responsible. >> let's take a look at somebody who may not agree with our sort of democratic view of politics where one side wins an election and governs for a while. then the other side challenges
their accountability. did they do the right thing or not? let's take a look at rush limbaugh today and what he had to say about the democratic party. >> right out of adoofl hitler's playbook. now, what are the similarities between the democrat party of today and the nazi party in germany? well, the nazis were against big business. they hated big business, and, of course, we all know that they were opposed to jewish capitalism. they were insanely irrationally against pollution. they were for two years mandatory voluntary service to germany. they had a whole bunch of make work projects to keep people working, one of which was the
autobahn. they were against cruelty and viv vi section of animals, but in the radical sense of devaluing human life they banned smoking. they were totally against that. they were for abortion and euthanasia of the undesirables as we all know, and they were for cradle to grave nationalized health care. >> i do not know where to begin, but i'm going to start with bob shrum. bob, i thought i heard everything. they are insanely against pollution. well, there you have it. anybody who is against pollution is a nazi. i mean, it's the most amazing thing -- this guy is an entertainer. is there a limit here? >> yeah, pat is not going to associate himself with any of that stuff i don't think. it's despicable drivel. it's also -- it's factually wrong. you know, there were big germany companies who helped fund the nazi party movement. >> sure. >> by the way, it's hard to believe since i have seen all these pictures of diplomatic conferences held in germany with high german officials there in
before world war ii where they're all smoking. i don't think they banned smoking. he's just made this up. i don't know, maybe he's back on whatever he was on before. >> well, without getting too personalal, shrummy, you took a shot below the belt there but maybe it's justified this time. pat, what do you make of that jeremiah from rush limbaugh? >> look, i think grippentrof was a chain smoker. i have seen pictures of him with a cigarette. big business was in bed with hitler. >> so his point is ridiculous. hitler is impossible to figure out in terms of economic ideology i think it's fair to say. putting him on the other side is the cheapest shot. i think anybody who uses the hitler thing on the other side is playing a bad game. how dirty is this campaign getting, against the health reform bill. what further shot can you take? is there anything worse? >> i don't think people are
going to think barack obama is a nazi. you know, but, look, i do agree with you to this extent, you should never bring the nazis in the argument because then we're all arguing about nazis -- >> people are anti-abortion do it, too. i think we have to stop the comparisons. >> i agree with you 100%. conservatives are usually called fascist and all the rest of it. >> well, that's okay. >> i haven't actually heard that recently, pat. >> let's move on. i think socialist -- cynicalist, let's get really sophisticated here. let me ask you about this fight and barack obama s this august going to be too tough for him? we have seen a man who is very good at politics. he got elected president of the united states, african-american. did he an almost perfect campaign. he beat the clintons. does he have the fighting skills to win against all the organizations on the right, the kato institute, dick army's army. >> people exaggerate their
grassroots power. there's no doubt they have good power on op-ed pages and things like that. i think this august is crucial. i think obama is bleeding on health care. i think the blue dogs are going home. some of it may be orchestrated, but you can't get guys out to every single one of these meetings that outraged and that angry. this just doesn't have that kind of cloud. they can't get anybody out when it came to their amnesty bill. >> i have a strategy bill. could the right strategy for the president to get through this summer, because the unemployment rate is going to be horrendous again tomorrow, it will be horrendous for months and months, lower the temperature, get through a bill that passes muster with a few republicans, three of them certainly and the moderate democrats. get the bill through, jam it through conference, lower the thing, don't have any more rallies. get it through, and keep his left quiet basically. isn't that the strategy to get through the summer? don't heat up this thing. >> well, i think he's not trying to heat it up. i think he is trying to get a bill through. i think they will get a bill through, but i don't believe that we should let organized
mobs paid for by organized money silence the president of the united states or prevent members of congress from going home and holding town hall meetings. i think that -- by the way, we haven't even noticed this, i suspect these tactics are very self-defeating, that when the country hears rush limbaugh, when it sees these people standing there screaming just say no, just say no, just say no, it's not helping the republican party. it's hurting the republican party, and probably ultimately helping the passage of the health bill. >> to make this judgment or not, you or me or bob shrum sitting here, some congressman goes out to his district, he looks out in the hall and he knows whether people brought in there are ringers or whether there are angry folks or upset folks who don't like this thing. that's why he's in congress, because he's smart and in touch with his pesm. >> exactly right. >> he will come back and say, look, my folks aren't with this or there's just a lot of ringers down there. i'm going with -- >> he'll talk to his lawyer, his doctor, the people he goes to
church with, the people he goes to the beach with, the regular people he's known for 30 years and he will ask them what do you think of this thing. >> he can judge it better than we can. >> those are the guys that keep putting him in office. thank you bob and pat. it is going to be one hot august even though the temperature, global warming is getting weird in this town again. it is not august. >> getting cooler. those conservative protesters turning congressional town halls into town brawls. let's talk about them and go inside. we want to know how spontaneous are these events and how much are they what's called astrot f astroturf, phony grassroots. and now the unions are organizing on the other side. we're going to have mob versus mob. how much of this is real and how much is organized. can the democrats use the disruptions politically against the republicans. we'll see. stay with us. you're watching "hardball," only on msnbc.
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conservative groups like freedom works continue to support the aggressive supports at democratic congressional town meetings on health care, and now the afl-cio is pushing back and plans to send their own people to these down halls to what could amount could the -- to a showdown. gentlemen, you're both professionals. tell me about this. the issues come up whether you're astroturf or not. are you a paid official? >> i work at the headquarters in d.c. >> you work -- and you get a salary from them. >> yes. >> are you a lobbyist? >> no. >> you're lobbying washington
and pushing a point of view. how come your not a lobbyist? >> we're 501-c 3. >> you're nonpartisan. >> we're supposed to take this for real you're nonpartisan. >> if you look at our opposition to a lot of bush's policies -- >> but right now you guys are killing -- you're going to every town meeting in the world blowing them apart. how many people are on your payrolls? >> 18. >> how do you organize these meetings? >> mostly through the internet. we have about 400,000 online members who we can contact with an e-mail database we have, send them information about when the town halls are, give them briefings. >> when you watch television you see a disruption in long island, philly, down in texas, you know that's coming ahead of time. >> we've been telling people to talk to their congressmen for 25
years. that's long -- >> but you're basically plotting this stuff. >> we're -- >> people aren't spontaneously getting up in the morning and reading the paper and going i'm going to go to the congressman's meeting -- >> we tell them when the events are. we just don't usually get this many people. >> are you astroturf or grassroots? >> well -- >> astroturf means an organized professional operation which leads to these rallies rather than something where a bunch of people are reading the pape they're morning and go, god, i better get down to headquarters. >> all our people are volunteers. if you're talking about astroturf being where you bus people in -- >> where you organize. >> maybe like moveon bused people in or if you have paid people like the unions do, no, we're not astroturf. ours are all volunteers. their hands are painted by hand. >> great. let's you go to you, gerald. what do you make of this? >> you know, people -- it's really important that we have town hall meetings where people can discuss issues, and there's no more important issue than health care in the country today. people are just getting killed with health care costs, and this
situation just is untenable as it stands now. so it's really important that this happens. i think it's really unfort that the -- that people are trying to disrupt these meetings. is joo is that the right approach to this debate? we don't have a bill. republicans say they have alternatives but they never push them when they're in power. i keep asking republicans, we have alternatives, i say why don't you push them through when you're in power. then we won't have the democrats saying nothing gets done. >> that's a huge failing of the bush administration. we've been calling for health care reform for a decade. we don't see any of what we've been calling for in this proposal which is why we're opposing it. we want reform, it's just going in the opposite -- >> are they saying just say no to reforms that stop people from being denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. are they saying no to portability of jobs. what are they saying no to?
do they know or is it what you feed them? >> i think they know about some of the legislation that's passed out of the committee and congress and they don't like knows packages as they are. >> they don't seem very sophisticated. they're just yelling no. if i took each one of those people and put them on sodium penta thol and asked them what they're saying no to, what do they know they're saying no to? >> they're saying no to the senate bill that's come out of committee. saying no to the three committee pieces that have come out of the house. they know that each of those have something in common. they're all different aspects, but they all have a movement toward more government in health care -- >> medicare is 100% health care. >> and it's running out of money. >> i never met a person in the world that wants to get rid of medicare. >> but it's running out of money. they're afraid we will get a system where everybody's health care is running out of money sort of like medicare is running out of money. >> gerald? >> as far as i can say they're just saying no to government involvement at all and that's what got us in the health care crisis we're in today.
we deregulated health care in the '80s -- >> some of these imabout sills say keep the government out of medicare. how can somebody -- it's an entire government-run operation initiated by the government by the democrats. lyndon johnson back in the '60s. that's demeanted talk. >> you can't do that. >> why do people come and say just say no, keep government out of government. it's balloon head talk. >> some people aren't that well-informed. >> and the projections are if there were this modest public health insurance option, you know, it would cover 8 million people, 10 million people. it would not be a huge coverage. this is not going to replace private insurance. it hopefully is going to provide some real competition to force prices down. that's the whole ball game here. >> what do you folks in freedom works want to do for the 40-some million people that don't have health insurance. if it's not nothing, say nothing. >> a big chunk of those people
earn over $50,000 a year. another chunk qualify for s-chip, which is government health care for the kids. medicaid, which is government health care for the poor, and medicare which are 65 and over. >> why are emergency rooms packed with people who wait four or five hours to get something basic handled that should have been part of their primary care. >> there are about 16 million people who don't fall into any of those categories and would qualify for some sort -- >> are you saying people are covered? >> no. there are 46 million people in america who don't have insurance. but a big chunk -- >> but are you saying there's no problem with people not being insured in this country? >> no, i'm saying there is about 16 million who we should probably focus on trying to find a way to lower the cost of health insurance so we can get them insurance. >> but why don't the republicans ever do that when they're in power? why don't you do it? >> senator demint had a bill -- >> senator demint? senator demint is an activist
for health care? he is the most anti-government conservative guy in the world. you're saying he had an activist program to do something for the su one thing their bill has in common is they removed the limits of buying health care over state borders. i can buy anything in one state or another state except for health insurance. i have to pay $1,000 a month if i'm in new jersey -- >> i can understand why you don't like big government, but when you are in power -- reagan's approach to government was the na. approach. no approach. >> you want it both ways. you want to be seen as compassionate but not do anything. >> let us buy insurance over state lines. >> we've had reagan in charge. you've had george bush first in charge. two george bush jr. and at no time have i had somebody come on this show saying we have to get a republican health care plan to help uninsured people get insured. you guys are frauds. >> we are as disappointed -- >> where was the we?
>> we're pushing them -- >> this is the only guy since truman with a chance to get a health care plan and you are trying to kill it. >> we think -- >> you're trying to kill the only plan on the table. >> it's the only -- >> i'm sorry. your witness. >> the issue here is controlling costs. right now we have an monopoly by private insurers. most states have two or three insurers who control the entire market or 75% of the market. there's no competition. their relationship with hospitals is base kically a coz relationship. the prices are going sky high. it's not just a problem of some people who -- >> are you going to back this health care plan or are you going to bitch and moan and say it's not enough. >> we are going to back it. up next, what american
political figure was offered 40 goats and 20 cows or 20 cows and 40 goats for their daughter's hand in marriage and who said let her decide? that's choice. that's next in this -- i shouldn't say it that way. that's next in the "sideshow." you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. whoo-hoo! remember when your friend kelly said she liked your hair color? oh. she lied. [ clang ] ugh! whoops! whoo! okay, one-tone hair color -- totally washing you out. pbht! let's get your right color! nice'n easy with color-blend technology. in 1 simple step, get a blend of 3 tones. highlights, lowlights, and shine. it makes a fresh, light-filled frame for your pretty face. why settle for flat hair color when you can get that hair color? with nice'n easy. your right color.
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back to "hardball." time for the "sideshow." first, some throwback diplomacy. check out the offer posed to secretary of state hillary clinton at a town hall today in nairobi. >> 40 a kenyan city councilman says he offered bill clinton goats and cows for his daughter's hand in marriage five years ago. he is still awaiting an answer. >> well, my daughter is her own
person. she's very independent, so i will convey this very kind offer. >> letter hur daughter make the call. that's diplomacy. next up, it's the 2010 primary to watch nationwide. joe sestak made it official this week jumping into the race against senator arlen specter in pennsylvania. here he is last night getting the most wondrous of salutes from stephen colbert. >> you made your announcement yesterday against arlen specter who was a democrat who became a republican, is now a democrat again, and he said of you, he called you a flagrant hypocrite who registered as a democrat only in time to run for congress. don't you have to give him credit just for having giant swinging balls? >> well, actually i think it's sestak who deserves that cue dough. specter has got a huge lead in the nps right now.
now the old rule that politics make strange bed fellows, make that surf mates. republican congressman dana rohrabacher who is from out there along with massachusetts congressman barney frank. rohrabacher told politico he invite ed frank and his partner and set them up at a surfer's hotel because frank's partner is a suffer and frank will, quote, probably have to lie on the beach like a whale. mitt romney is coming out a book. the once and most likely future presidential candidate has inked a deal to public "no apology." an apparent reach by the well-born romney for the soddy buster vote. i think we should make these guys write these books in public at some starbucks so we can watch them write them instead of ghost writing them. i think obama is the only politician in modern history to write his own book.
7 republicans out of 40 republicans in the senate voted for judge sotomayor today. out of the six republicans retires next year, how many voted for judge sotomayor? 4, 4 out of 6. two-thirds. martinez, kid, bond, and george voinovich. you figure that one out. that's tonight's food for thought big number. up next, the definitive story of the 2008 presidential election from the primary battles between barack obama and hillary clinton to the ascension briefly of sarah palin to the national stage. we've got dan balz and haynes johnson the authors of the new book to sit with me and tell me what mccain really thinks of sarah palin and what was ted kennedy after when he backed obama? you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. i can enjoy the zoo with my grandkids. (announcer) for people with copd including chronic bronchitis,
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i'm julia boorstin with your cnbc market wrap. stocks posting modest losses today as investors anxiously await tomorrow's release of the july jobless report. the dow was down more than 24 points. the s&p 500 down a little more than 5.5 and the nasdaq finishing almost 20 points lower. traders are focusing on jobs as a prime indicator of economic recovery. today's weekly report showed new claims falling more than expected, but ongoing claims continue to rise indicating new layoffs are tapering off but job creation is still lagging. financial stocks are big gainers on the dow today with american express and bank of america and aig all moving higher. major retailers released disappointing july sales report today that fell short of already low expectations. most retail stocks moved sharply higher on some encouraging
earnings. that's it for cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." a year ago barack obama's team was wrapping up a masterfully executed quest for the democratic nomination for president and sarah palin was about to become the republican's national superstar. today the obama team is struggling to sell health care and palin is sort of out of a job, isn't she? dan balz and haynes johnson are the authors of the great new book, the battle for america 2008, the story of an extraordinary election. what i like about it is you two pros have seen a few elections, especially haynes. you know what an extraordinary one looks like. what struck me in your book is how it came across the parts i read in the post crystal and clear. nothing complicated, nothing
murky. there's certain clear points in the campaign that made all the difference and i'm going to go back to my favorites, right? >> good. >> hillary clinton backed the iraq war. that croaked her. among caucus attenders, the people with college degrees, the people that evoke the '60s still, the kind of people that make the democratic party work. >> she never got out of it. she was trapped by that and caught by it and couldn't work her way out. they wanted her to be strong, the commander in chief, but she was just trapped in this miasma. >> why didn't she say they're never going to nominate a hawk, saw it coming, and changed. >> she kept moving and moving and moving but all the climate was against her. then there was obama with this enormous enthusiasm. he just never came out of it. >> there's another reason that she didn't, because one question that she had facing her was what does she really believe in? the longer she had stuck with
her position on the war no, time table, she didn't want that -- >> then permanent bases. >> they reached a point where they believed it would cost her more if she took back that vote than to stick with it. >> well, in the end do you believe what -- do you believe it was decisive, the war issue. that barack obama was against the war from the beginning and she was for it. >> i believe it was hugely significant because it created an opening for obama that nobody else could claim early in the race and it gave him a tremendous amount of push among the activists, the people who play a real role in caucuses and a lot of primaries. >> what struck me was some of the best of the liberals. i make a judgment value, some of the patriotic smart liberals, went with obama in the beginning. and the kennedys came along after them eironically. they followed their like thinkers. what was that all about. why did ted kennedy, vicky kennedy, carol especially, back
obama? >> from the beginning ted kennedy saw in obama his brothers. the more he talked about it, a young generation, appeal. it was like jack and bobby. he wouldn't endorse, but he was -- they were close. when obama came to the senate, he looked up ted kennedy. he courted him. also, he liked the way he spoke on the war and early on before -- long before he became a u.s. senator he had given that great speech in illinois about the war which was absolutely prescient, what might happen if we went into iraq. so he was persuaded to go with obama. >> what's interesting is steve schmidt, i really like the guy, i guess you have dealt with him more than i have up front, he said during the campaign, and this got out later, he said he could tell he was running against a continuation of the bobby kennedy campaign. that's a pretty prescient thought for the guy on the other side. >> well, he did understand that, and i think ted kennedy also saw in obama somebody that he believed could begin to transcend some of the differences and divisions in the country. not just racial divisions, but certainly some to that, but also
to move the country to a different place in politics. i mean, he admired hillary clinton, and he had a good relationship going into the campaign with bill clinton, but he saw in obama somebody who could be the future, and he did not think at that point hillary clinton could be that person. >> you earned your spurs covering the civil rights movement. what did bill clinton say to barack obama on the phone that made him feel teddy had gotten off the reservation in terms of race and civil rights? >> that was so emotional. as you know, bill clinton got attacked because of comments in south carolina and the rest -- >> all he did was compare the obama campaign to the jesse jackson campaign. >> i know, but he was getting hit very hard, and clinton blew it. he got very angry about that. i am not a racist. my whole background, look at our record so forth and so on. and they had this conversation -- >> he said that to teddy. >> well, they talked about that. >> you're being cute about -- what can you report about what bill said to barack or said to ted? >> well, he did say i am not a
racist. look at my record. look at what i've done. >> but why would -- >> and hillary -- well, because teddy did think race had entered into the campaign. there was a sense this was falling apart and there was a racial context that we shouldn't have race entered into any more than it is, particularly with a black candidate like barack obama. >> did clyburn ever settle that with -- >> not entirely. a conversation between clinton and kennedy, there is something that clinton said in that conversation that set kennedy off. we have never been able to find out exactly what that was. there was a series of other things that happened. the jesse jackson thing came much later there. were other things happening in the clinton campaign. you remember bob johnson, the b.e.t. founder who talked about -- with hillary clinton on the stage talked about obama in
the hood and then denied it had anything to do that he was trying to inject either drugs or race into it. kennedy was just upset by the idea that race was being injected into the campaign. he blamed the clintons for allowing it to happen. the clintons were furious that they were being accused of injecting race. bill clinton is the kind of candidate, and with some justification, his whole political career he would say would be aimed at bringing the races together. the idea -- >> i think that's a value thing and you have to give him credit. let's talk about the other party, the republican party. everybody who has ever followed john mccain it seems respects the guy. he was the most media popular guy in the world. accused me of being for him. chris used to like me and then this other guy came along and then -- it was the al smith dinn dinner. he said i can do maverick. i can't do messiah.
why did he pick palin because it seemed to be a hail mary? >> it was a hail mary. they thought they were going to lose coming out of the democratic convention. at that point obama was surging ahead. even if he got a good candidate that everybody liked -- so a romney wouldn't do it for him. >> they had to get somebody to shake up. they also wanted to appeal for the women who had been for hillary. they might be able to bring them in. they went through this process of who are they going to get. there's this woman up in alaska, and they go through this -- >> what part did bill chris tal and fred barnes play in this, the guys from the weekly standard? what's their part. they went up for a cruise. >> they wret her, liked her, sent out flattering stuff. they were promoting among the republican base. >> this is so generically awful about politics. who was it -- it was roger ails
came up with the idea of dan quayle. this is going to turn everything around, and the guy buy it is from somebody like that. he gave us quayle. crystal is really smart and he gave us that guy. >> i would not say crystal gave us sarah palin. >> who did it? >> i think it's three or four people. it's rick davis, who was the campaign manager. steve schmidt, who was the senior adviser at that point and helping to run the day-to-day operations. >> they thought she was the genuine article. she was going to turn this thing around. >> no, they thought this was a political risk but one that they were prepared to take. >> but they knew it was quicksilver, didn't they? they knew it was only last for a while. did they think she was secretly deep? >> no, that's the problem. one thing we say is she was legally vetted, legally vetted but not politically.
>> it's a hell of a book. you're only getting a taste of it. the battle for america, 2008, buy it, keep it on your shelf next to truman. this is a book you want to keep for a while and savor for the beach. up next, only nine republican senators voted to confirm sonia sotomayor to the court. only nine. like half of them are retired. what does that tell you? there will be a political price fade, fairly or not. are they kissing good-bye to the latino vote? we will talk about that in "the fix" when "hardball" comes back on msnbc. natural gas is a cleaner burning fuel,
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mr. alexander aye. mr. grasso. >> no. >> mr. brasso, no. mr. bachus. mr. bachus aye. mr. bye -- >> with that vote, the senate made history today, confirming judge sonia sotomayor. nine republicans joined the democrats, ted kennedy couldn't vote because of health reasons. what are the political consequences? time for "the fix." roger simon writes for the politico. let's talk ethnic politics. will this be a crashing defeat
for republicans, people out west especially? >> this is a softball from the obama administration. she was such a traditionalist. and the republicans, all they had to do was maintain an even tone and not go after her, and basically actually win some points. >> did you think they went soft on her? >> not for political reasons. i think it's fair to vote against someone if you don't believe in their qualifications, but she was incredibly qualified. the tone that surrounded her. i remember watching those hearings. i felt uncomfortable. not only as a woman, but -- >> who bugged you? >> well, lindsey graham, when he started off his conversation by saying, i like hispanics and then after her, because as a woman it was condescending. everyone saw him shaking his finger at her asking if she had the right -- >> but he voted for her. >> because he's smart. if you look at the
redistricting, what's going on in the background -- >> okay. roger, these guys knew all this when they voted against this hispanic candidate. they obviously thought they either don't like her, which i think is a big part of this. i think they thought this woman would try to redress past grievances, use the power of the court to fix things back the way they should have been or whatever, and they didn't like it. they saw attitude there and didn't like it. that's what i think. >> the no vote was the eatsiest for them to take. >> really? you listen to this and say that? >> look. for one thing she got nearly 1 out of every 4 republican votes. >> but half those nine were people who are living. >> who did the right thing because they're leaving. but a no vote is much easier. if you cast a "yes" vote and she issues some, you know, ruling, even if it's one vote and eight against that says all guns should be banned against america, you're going to face a lot of trouble.
if you vote "no" and she does something great, no one will blame you. you just say, well, she grew into the job. >> i think it was the tone they went after her. >> i think it's a primary versus a general election. we'll be right back with roger and maria with more of "the fix." let's talk about the town hall brawls. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc. - oh, come on. - enough! you get half. and you get half. ( chirp ) team three, boathouse? ( chirp ) oh yeah. his and hers. - ( crowd gasps ) - ( chirp ) van gogh? ( chirp ) even steven. - ( irp ) mansion? - ( chirp ) good to go. ( grunts ) timber! ( chirp ) boss? what do we do with the shih-tzu? - ( chirp ) joint custody. - dog: phew... announcer: get work done now. communicate in less than a second with nextel direct connect. only on the now network. deaf, hard of hearing and people with speech disabilities access www.sprintrelay.com.
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we're back with "the fix" with roger and maria. first of all, let's look at rush limbaugh's rant, and i usually don't say that. the democrats and nazis are one and the same, believe me, that's what he's saying. >> i always bristle when i hear people claim that conservatism gets close to nazism. it's liberalism that's the closest you can get to nazism and socialism. it's all bundled up until the socialist banner. there's far more similarities between nancy pelosi and hitler between these people showing up at town has to protest a hitler-like policy. that is broadband heralded by a hitler-like logo. >> this logo -- rush is -- i'm going to say it, he's all wet.
this logo looks like the coast guard academy, nothing like a neoclassical nazi standard of any kd. what's going on here? >> it's always a mistake to compare anyone -- >> anything, including abortion or anything. >> i didn't like it when seinfeld did the suit nazi. you just don't do it. it's all over the top, always wrong. he's wrong on the fact. the nazis were not true socialists. i mean, just wrong and it's dumb, and some -- why is he doing it? >> could ratings be part of it? maybe he believes it. its hardest thing for the media to do is avert its eyes and say we're just going to let this pass by, we're not going to gawk at the car wreck. >> and i think the reps are getting nervous, because they're becoming more and more identified with the fringe. >> you really believe that? i think it's stirring up the base, i think it's getting
people normally bored with politics, that didn't feel anything about obama, is stirring up. the stirring by glenn beck and him and others, and saying they're nazis, charging from some other countries from the somewhat hilli part of kenya, he's really a muslim, they're back to that again. most republicans now either don't believe he's an american or aren't sure. it is not a joke. it's getting very earthy. >> and the white house needs the same rapid response that the clinton administration did and be on the offensive. they're saying, you know we're above this. no, you're not, because the american people are starting to listen. we need to say that america is changing and at the end of the day, this type of rhetoric. >> i agree, the numbers are going down, this rant -- the big lie works. >> we tent to forget in what was overlooked in the justifiably good feeling of obama's election was that obama lost the white
vote by a landslide. so he is still winning over white america. >> thank you, roger simon, with that depressing thought. and maria kumar. right now it's time for "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. this is "the ed show." good evening, live from 30 rock in new york, it's "the ed show" on msnbc. i'm lawrence o'donnell in for ed schultz who of course has gone fishing. some liberals are outraged, because president obama seems to be overaccommodating to the party of no, but as of now that's better than the alternative. i'll explain why. why are some democrats hedging on health care? because they fear socialist health care. i'll talk to a conservative who is plotting a run for the senate
in 2010, to find out how he thinks republicans will use the issue in the next campaign. just how out of control are the screaming mobs now? today we got new details about swastikas, lynching jokes and death threats. plus how liberal groups plan to step up their ground game. and are all lobbyists all bad all the time? but first tonight's op-ed. liberals are fed up with president obama's effort to reach out. today the president invited six senate finance committee members working on bipartisan health care reform of to the white house. the police included three republicans. wyoming senator enzi was quoted this morning in "wall street journal" claiming that the screaming mobs are proof americans don't like the democrats' plan. he says they need to work for a plan that doesn't rile voters, while failing to mention that the riled voters are